Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba welcomes South African Revenue Service (SARS) staff seconded to the Border Management Agency (BMA) Project Management Office
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has welcomed ninety three staff of the SARS Collaborative Border Management (CBM) unit into the Border Management Agency (BMA) Project Management Office, in Pretoria.
The SARS staff was seconded on 1 February 2015 to the BMA Project Management Office in the Department of Home Affairs, a national project with domestic, regional, Pan-African and global dimensions.
The Border Management Project Office was put in place to promote government’s vision and realisation of a new, integrated border management, through the BMA. The BMA will be established as a single body under one accounting authority that has its basis in enabling legislation. The goal for integrated border management is to deliver excellent border management outcomes by planning and acting within one framework.
The vision of the BMA was endorsed by the SA Cabinet at its meeting of 10 December 2014. Among other things it would be outcomes-focused, simultaneously addressing various priorities, such as national security, the efficient facilitation of legitimate trade and travel and regional integration.
It will assume control of both ports of entry and borderline functions. Presently the responsibilities for border management are split between various organs of state at ports of entry and along the borderline. Key powers and functions from organisations such as Home Affairs, SARS, SAPS, the SANDF and the Departments of Health, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will need to be ceded to the BMA.
A thorough review of the Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee (BCOCC) which currently oversees and coordinates the functions of all state agencies operating at the country’s borders is expected to be completed by the middle of March 2015. The BMA Project Management Office will drive this assessment together with BCOCC stakeholders. Also to receive attention would be the reality and perception of the porosity of the borderline.
The target of submitting a BMA Bill to Cabinet by mid-2015 has been set.
In his address, Minister Gigaba applauded the staff of the SARS Collaborative Border Management unit for having collectively and individually been at the forefront of forging better coherence, cooperation and coordination between the various stakeholders at Ports of Entry. He praised the staff for the key role they had played in ensuring that the cross-border movement of approximately 38 million travellers per annum has been authorised, safe, legitimate and in the national interest and for contributing to the collection of over R147 billion in revenue at all South African Ports of Entry.
The Minister called for the highest levels of professionalism and integrity as well as the same high standard of public service for young children, the elderly, people with disabilities, women, men, Muslims, Christians, agnostics, Whites and Africans.
He spoke very strongly against corrupt behaviour, acceptance of bribes and allowing unauthorised movement of people or goods. He further called for the deepening of the fight against xenophobia at our border posts, along the border line, in our townships, in the suburbs and in our boardrooms.
“The violation of basic human rights is a violation of good border management practice,” Minister Gigaba told the gathering, adding that “the best and most sustainable way to combat xenophobia is to build public trust and confidence in our robust management of international migration processes.”
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS